DIODORO TURNS THE HEAT UP

Traweek wins on the inside

Traweek wins on the inside

BY JIM WELLS

 

Trainer Robertino Diodoro and Kristina Kenney were watching the sixth race Friday night when she turned to him with a comment.

“If we win this one it will be all due to Ry,’’ she said.

Diodoro’s assistant was certain it would require a solid ride from Eikleberry to take Traweek, a six-year-old gelding, to the winner’s circle _  where he hadn’t been in seven other outs this year. In fact, he had been there only three times in 43 lifetime starts, almost as if he has an aversion to confined places.

“He has a tendency to stop,’’ Kristina added.

Not Friday night. Eikleberry gave him the ride he needed and Diodoro his 30th win of the meet. That’s 11 more than Mac Robertson, the perennial champion dethroned last season by Diodoro.

“There’s still a long way to go yet, and Mac has plenty of ammo,’’ Diodoro said moments before Traweek became a winner for the first time in more than two years.

Diodoro is not one to get ahead of himself, although he tried to do that this season and didn’t seem to gain any ground. “We decided we would come in early and get going with it,’’ he said, arriving three weeks or more before the start of the meet.

To no avail. “We were freezing up here,’’ he said, “and what were we at the start. Something like two wins for the first 20 starts. ’’

That number is somewhat different at this point _ 30 for 111.

Diodoro has horses at Canterbury, at Del Mar, at Northlands Park and a handful at Prairie Meadows. .

He has between 60 and 70 horses in Shakopee for the current meet and seems to have a good roll going overall. He has won the last two meets at Turf Paradise in Phoenix, setting a record for most wins by a trainer two years ago.

He has already saddled 111 starters this meet, which comes out to more than three a (racing) day, a considerable number, considering that he started 221 all of the 2014 meet when he had 50 winners to finish in front of Robertson by four and 21 in front of the third place trainer, Bernell Rhone.

Nonetheless, it will take a phenomenal finish to surpass Robertson’s 77 for the 2008 meet or his 75 in 2009, although 38 days of racing remain with 32 in the books.

With more than half of the meet still on the calendar, Diodoro prefers to take each day as it comes, one card at a time.

Nevertheless, he has to appreciate the position he is in as opposed to last year when it took forever, it seemed then, to gain anything resembling consistency.

And there are constant concerns in the racing business, always something to take into consideration, to prepare for, just in case…such as the anticipated humidity that is forecast to arrive on Saturday and increase several fold by Sunday.

“We have five in tomorrow and two on Sunday,’’ Diodoro said, shaking his head.

That’s the way it is in racing, at least in Minnesota. If  you don’t freeze, you just might succumb to the heat and humidity.

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